Tag Archives: southern california

“Scene in LA” July 2020 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Although theaters throughout Southern California continue to be closed to public gatherings as July begins, sadly we are seeing an increase in cases of Covid-19 that will probably mean even more delays until we can return to the theaters. As for now, no live stage shows are allowed at venues by mandate from state and local authorities due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
As we told you the last two months, some theaters are offering online events instead. These online events are often available one time only, and are frequently not announced far ahead of the event, so you will have to visit the venue’s web site to see what is available. Most are free to watch, some are charging a small fee. Here is a list of the web sites you can check to see what they are offering:

3-D Theatricals
www.3dtheatricals.org

A Noise Within
www.anoisewithin.org

L.A. Theatre Works (fee & free)
www.latw.org
www.latw.org/black-voices

Long Beach Opera
www.longbeachopera.org

Robey Theatre Company
www.robeytheatrecompany.org

Rogue Artists Ensemble
www.rogueartists.org

The Blank Theatre (fee)
The Blank Theatre (free)
www.patreon.com/TheBlankTheatre
www.youtube.com/TheBlankTheatre

The Broad Stage
www.thebroadstage.org

The Geffen Playhouse (fee)
www.geffenplayhouse.org

The Matrix Theatre “Scraps”
www.youtube.com

The Soraya
www.thesoraya.org

The Wallis Center for the Performing Arts
The Wallis Studio Ensemble
www.thewallis.org
www.instagram.com
Until we emerge from these trying times, we encourage everyone to stay safe and practice social distancing at all times when outside in public. Our warmest wishes go out to all of you during this crisis! We want to thank the PR’s and our readers for their ongoing support.
Sincerely,
Steve Zall and Sid Fish

“Scene in LA” June 2020 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Although theaters throughout Southern California continue to be closed to public gatherings as June begins, there are discussions now about how and when they may be allowed to reopen, which is an encouraging sign, and we are hoping for the best! However, for now, no live stage shows are allowed at venues by mandate from state and local authorities due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
 As we told you last month, some are offering online events instead. These online events are often available one time only, and are frequently not announced far ahead of the event, so you will have to visit the venue’s web site to see what is available. Most are free to watch, some are charging a small fee. Here is a list of the web sites you can check to see what they are offering:

 


A Noise Within

www.anoisewithin.org

L.A. Theatre Works (fee & free)

www.latw.org

Long Beach Opera

www.longbeachopera.org

Rogue Artists Ensemble

www.rogueartists.org

The Blank Theatre (fee)

www.patreon.com/TheBlankTheatre

The Broad Stage

www.thebroadstage.org

The Geffen Playhouse (fee)

www.geffenplayhouse.org

The Soraya

www.thesoraya.org

The Wallis Center for the Performing Arts

www.thewallis.org
Until we emerge from these trying times, we encourage everyone to stay safe and practice social distancing at all times when outside in public. Our warmest wishes go out to all of you during this crisis! We want to thank the PR’s and our readers for their ongoing support.
Sincerely,
Steve Zall and Sid Fish

“Scene in LA” May 2020 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

This month all theaters throughout Southern California continue to be closed to public gatherings and so they are having no live shows to attend at the venue in May on orders from state and local authorities due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, however some are offering online events instead. These online events are usually shown one time only and are not usually announced far in advance of the event, so you will have to visit the venue’s web site to see what is available. Most are free to watch, some are charging a small fee. Here is a list of the web sites you can check to see what they are offering:

3-D Theatricals www.3dtheatricals.org
L.A. Theatre Works (fee & free) www.latw.org
The Blank Theatre (fee) www.patreon.com/TheBlankTheatre
The Broad Stage www.thebroadstage.org
The Geffen Playhouse (fee) www.geffenplayhouse.org
The Soraya www.thesoraya.org
The Wallis Center for the Performing Arts www.thewallis.org

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to stay safe and practice social distancing at all times when outside in public. Our warmest wishes go out to all of you during this crisis! We want to thank the PR’s and our readers for their ongoing support. It is much appreciated!

Sincerely,

Steve Zall and Sid Fish

“Scene in LA” April 2020 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

A NOTE TO ALL OF OUR READERS:

We are sad to report that all theaters throughout Southern California are now closed through at least the end of April on official orders from state and local authorities due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, so we have nothing to list in our event column for this month. Hopefully, this mandate will be lifted soon and things can return to some sense of normality, but when this will happen is, at this point, impossible to say.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to stay safe and practice social distancing wherever and whenever possible. Our warmest wishes go out to all of you during this crisis! We want to thank the PR’s and our readers for their ongoing support. It is much appreciated!

Sincerely,

Steve Zall and Sid Fish

“Scene in LA” March 2020 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

A MESSAGE TO ALL OF OUR VALUED READERS. PLEASE REVIEW THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

Due to the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all theaters are prohibited from holding performances for the rest of March (at minimum.) Some have informed us of intentions to resume shows in April, but please check the theater’s website or call the box office BEFORE you make any plans to attend any of these shows to make sure that the theater will be open for your enjoyment.

 If you ARE able to attend a production, PLEASE TAKE EVERY MEASURE RECOMMENDED BY HEALTH AUTHORITIES TO ENSURE THAT YOUR HEALTH WILL NOT BE COMPROMISED!

 

“Barefoot in the Park” Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. Fresh off a honeymoon at the Plaza Hotel, free-spirited Corie and her buttoned-down husband Paul find themselves struggling to adjust to married life in their too expensive, run-down New York walk-up. Throw in a loopy meddling mother, an eccentric Bohemian upstairs neighbor, and a double date that goes disastrously wrong, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for laughter! Comedy legends Rita Rudner and Paul Rodriguez star. Written by Neil Simon, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs March 1 through March 14 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Home” starts with an empty stage. A house appears from nothing. It goes up fast, choreographed like time-lapse photography. Residents move in, move out, get evicted, burn it down, loot it, rent it, remodel it, get married and divorced in it, grow up in it, die in it, haunt it — and all the while, they live among traces of residents present, past, and future. They throw a party, as if everyone who ever lived there could cohabitate, transcending the logic of time and space. Written by Geoff Sobelle, and directed by Lee Sunday Evans, it runs March 4 through March 8 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-434-3200 or visit www.thebroadstage.org.

“Passion” is based on Ettore Scola’s brooding neo-romantic movie Passione d’Amore (1981), which in turn was based on Fosca, an 1869 Italian novel by Iginio Tarchetti. Passion tells the story of Giorgio, a handsome young army captain in 1860s Italy, who finds himself torn between Clara, his beautiful young lover, and Fosca, the unattractive, sickly woman who challenges his notion of what love is. With an achingly beautiful score, Passion delves into the mystifying tangle of desire, obsession, lust and madness that comprise love. Written by Stephen Sondheim, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Michael Michetti, it has been rescheduled to open in September of this year at the Boston Court in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6801 or visit www.bostoncourtpasadena.org.

“Death and Other Girly Things” In the play, a young woman takes a road trip with her new … baby … learning about life, death, and everything in between. Written by J Fontaine, and directed by Mitch Rosander & Madylin Sweeten Durrie, it runs March 7 through April 12 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-452-3153 or visit www.loftensemble.org.

“Murder Mafia” The party game “Mafia” is the inspiration for this improvisational murder mystery/comedy where the audience is trying to find the murderer. Ten suspects. One of them is a member of the Murder Mafia. Can you find the killer? How good are you at finding a Mafioso (or Mafiosa)? From the producers of Deadventure (the zombie improv show) comes the murder mystery comedy show where the audience tries to catch the killer…. before it’s too late. Directed by Derek Jeremiah Reid., it runs March 7 through March 14 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-392-7327 or visit www.edgemarcenter.org.

“The Serpent” Go ahead – take the apple. A work of experimental theater that explores the biblical Book of Genesis while comparing it to the modern experience, The Serpent remains a prime example of the innovative nature of the period. It was developed in 1968 by van Itallie in collaboration with Joseph Chaikin and the Open Theatre. Written by Jean-Claude van Itallie, and directed by Ron Sossi, it runs March 7 through May 3 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“La Vie en Rose” Her fans can’t bear to say goodbye! Responding to popular demand, Grammy award-winning chanteuse Julia Migenes re-opens her farewell series of concert performances for five additional weeks. Join Migenes for this evening of French chansons by Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Léo Ferre, Jacques Brel, Michel Legrand and others. (All songs performed in French.). Written by Julia Migenes, with music by Victoria Kirsch, and directed by Peter Medak, it runs March 12 through April 5 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“Man of God” During a mission trip to Bangkok, the four members of a Korean Christian girls’ youth group discover that their revered pastor has hidden a camera in their hotel bathroom. Samantha is personally wounded that Pastor would do this to her. Jen is worried about how this might affect her college applications. Mimi’s out for blood, as usual. And Kyung-Hwa thinks everyone needs to have lower expectations for men. Their communal rage and disillusionment fuel increasingly violent revenge fantasies amidst the no-holds-barred neon bubblegum sex-tourism mecca of Bangkok. Written by Anna Moench, and directed by Maggie Burrows, it has been postponed to a future date at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Taming the Lion” William Haines acted in 50 films between 1922 and 1934 and was the number one box-office draw at the end of the silent era. He was also the first openly gay movie star, a fact that the MGM studio attempted to conceal, fearing that Haines’ gayness would prove to be box-office poison. Studio executives Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg attempt to force Haines to marry a woman, to please the fans. But Haines is devoted to his male lover, Jimmie Shields. Mayer sends Haines’ best female friend, Joan Crawford, to try and persuade Haines to marry a woman. Mayer gives Haines an ultimatum: marry a woman and continue to be a movie idol, or turn his back on his movie career and lose everything so that he can stay with Jimmie. What will Haines do? Written by Jack Rushen, and directed by Melanie MacQueen, it runs March 12 through March 14 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. It will reopen at a date to be announced. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Orphée” Orpheus, Eurydice, a trouble-making horse and Death herself converge in this very funny and irreverent reimagining of the Greek myth by surrealist poet, playwright and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. A celebrated poet with writer’s block, Orpheus sequesters himself in the countryside with his wife Eurydice, where he seeks inspiration. Deaf West Theatre views Cocteau’s whimsical, magical and highly visual French play, first performed in Paris in 1926, through a unique lens: translated from the French into Spoken English and American Sign Language, and slated for a run at the True Colors Festival in Tokyo, Japan at the end of April. Described by Cocteau as “part farce, part meditation on death,” the playwright continued to explore the same themes throughout his ensuing career, culminating with his seminal “Orphic Trilogy” of films: Le Sang d’un Poete, Orphée and Le Testament d’Orphee. Written by Jean Cocteau, translated into Spoken English by John Savacool, and directed by Deena Selenow, it has been postponed indefinitely at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-762-2998 or visit www.deafwest.org.

“Our Man in Santiago” A comic spy thriller inspired by the true story of a spectacularly botched U.S. attempt to overthrow Chile’s democratically elected leader. In this new political farce, the CIA enlists an inexperienced, unsuspecting agent to follow up with a last-ditch, poorly conceived and wildly dangerous effort to hasten the 1973 Chilean coup d’état. Written by Mark Wilding, and directed by Charlie Mount, it is scheduled to reopen in April at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.TheatreWest.org.

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” Set in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia live a quiet life in the farmhouse where they grew up and cared for their elderly parents, while mourning their lost dreams and missed opportunities. When their often-wrong, fortune-telling maid warns of impending dangers, and their movie star sister, Masha, arrives unexpectedly with her young, sexy, boy toy, Spike, the family is launched into a rollicking weekend of one-upmanship, exposed nerves, and a lot of broken mugs. With wit and absurdity, the toils and troubles of celebrity, social networking, and age combine into a laugh-out-loud comedy that will tickle your funny bone and stimulate your mind. Written by Christopher Durang, and directed by Susan Stangl, it has been postponed indefinitely at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“Poor Clare” A very funny modern spin on the Middle Ages that couldn’t feel more timely. Clare is just a regular noblewoman living in medieval Italy, trying out hairstyles and waiting to get married… until a man named Francis starts ranting in the courtyard. Based on the real story of St Clare of Assisi, a play about what happens when your eyes are opened to the injustice of the world around you, and you can’t look away. Written by Chiara Atik, and directed by Alana Dietze, it is scheduled to reopen in April at the Echo Theater Company Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“The Wild Party” tells the story of one tragic, decadent night in a New York apartment shared by Queenie and her menacing lover, Burrs. The couple decides to throw the party to end all parties where Queenie meets a handsome stranger who wants to lure her away. Lust, jealousy, deception, drugs, sex, and violence all play out against the backdrop of Manhattan during the Roaring Twenties and Prohibition, just one year before Crash of 1929. This darkly brilliant show won a slew of awards and its thrilling, pitch-perfect score has become a modern day classic. Contains adult situations and language, for mature audiences only. Written by Andrew Lippa, with music by Andrew Lippa, and directed by Kristin Towers-Rowles, it has been postponed indefinitely at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

“Worst-Case Scenario” What if you met the person you’ve been waiting for your whole life, just as a nuclear apocalypse was heading your way? Worlds collide in a tiki bar at the edge of Kauai when an aimless Silicon Valley dropout meets the bar’s brassy owner, who has a plan for all worst-case scenarios, except one… finding love. Written by D.M. Conte, and directed by Shana Betz, it runs is scheduled to open in April at the Hudson Comedy Central Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

“Romantics Anonymous” is the unusual love story of Angélique, maker of beautiful chocolates carefully infused with all the emotion that seems to overwhelm her in daily life, and Jean-René, who runs a chocolate factory that is running out of steam, rather like his own existence. Both seek help from the usual sources: Jean-René favors self-help tapes, and Angélique joins a support group, Les Émotifs Anonymes. When she takes a job in Jean-René’s struggling factory, a fragile love affair unfolds. Written and directed by Emma Rice, with music by Michael Kooman, lyrics by Christopher Dimond, it has been postponed indefinitely at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Romantics.

“Cirque du Soleil VOLTA” is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others. Written by Bastien Alexandre, with music by Anthony Gonzalez, and directed by Bastien Alexandre and Jean Guibert, it has been postponed indefinitely at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 877-924-7783 or visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/volta.

“Hair” In New York City for the first time while on his way to enlist in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Oklahoma farm hand Claude Hooper Bukowski meets up with a freewheeling group of Central Park hippies led by the irrepressible George Berger. When the unlikely friends meet upper-middle-class debutante Sheila Franklin, sparks fly between the country boy and the city girl, and Berger’s troupe attempts to keep the young lovers together. Written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, with music by Galt MacDermot, lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, and directed by Kate Sullivan, it has been postponed indefinitely at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center Davidson/Valentini Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.

“Love and Politics” takes on familiar taboos through four passionately divergent characters as they try to make sense of everything from smartphones, to career paths, immigration, love, and, yes, politics. It’s all politics…until it’s personal. Written by Jon Klein, and directed by Maria Gobetti, it has been postponed indefinitely at the Big Victory Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5421 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.

“Mamma Mia!” You can dance, you can jive and you’ll have the time of your life when 5-Star stages this massively popular musical for the first time! The impossible-to-resist hits of the Swedish pop group ABBA power this sunny, funny show about a young woman’s search for her birth father. Whether you grew up bopping to the beat of hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance On Me,” “Chiquitita” and “Money, Money, Money,” or you discovered ABBA on the big screen, 5-Star’s production will lift you higher than a pair of bedazzled platform boots. Written by Catherine Johnson, with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and directed by Richard Israel, it has dates that are yet to be announced at the Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 805-497-8613 Ext. 6 or visit www.5startheatricals.com.

 

Enjoy life more BUT BE SAFE, and see a show tonight!

 

“Scene in LA” February 2020 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

 

“The Father” stars Alfred Molina in a tour-de-force role in perhaps one of the most awarded plays of recent times on two continents. André was once a tap dancer. He lives with his daughter, Anne, and her husband, Antoine. Or was André an engineer, whose daughter Anne lives in London with her new lover, Pierre? The thing is, he is still wearing his pajamas, and he can’t find his watch. He is starting to wonder if he’s losing control. Written by Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton, and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, it runs February 5 through March 1 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.

“Can’t Pay? Don’t Pay!” Hungry and fed up by rising prices and stagnant wages, humble housewife Antonia joins a revolt of women at the local supermarket. Determined to live with dignity and rejecting an austerity diet of dog food and birdseed, the women’s protest escalates, and looting ensues. As police search door to door, Antonia and her friend Margherita frantically try to hide their ‘liberated’ goods from their husbands and the police. Written by Dario Fo, translated by Cam Deaver, and directed by Bob Turton, it runs February 6 through March 28 at the Actors’ Gang Theater in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.TheActorsGang.com.

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” The time is 1959, a seedy bar in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers – including “What a Moonlight Can Do,” “Crazy He Calls Me,” “Easy Living,” “Strange Fruit,” “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do,” and “God Bless the Child” — are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music. Written by Lanie Robertson, and directed by Wren T. Brown, it runs February 6 through March 1 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-964-9766 or visit www.ebonyrep.org.

“The Manor- Murder and Madness at Greystone” The show is a roman a clef, a fictionalization based on real events with the actual historical characters given new names. To lend authenticity to the presentation, the show is presented in the grand and glorious architectural landmark in which the events of 90 years ago actually took place. Audience members are led from room to room in the lovingly restored marvelous Greystone Mansion as different scenes of the narrative are portrayed, leading up to a shocking and apparent murder and suicide. The Manor- Murder and Madness at Greystone depicts momentous changes in the fortunes of the fabulously wealthy MacAlister Family (fictional surrogates of the oil-rich Doheny Family). Family patriarch and mining tycoon Charles makes an illegal if well-intentioned loan to Senator Alfred Winston (a stand-in for Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall). Both men face imminent disgrace and worse in the oncoming Teapot Dome bribery scandal, which will engulf the Warren Harding administration. A scion of the MacAlister family faces violent death. Written by Kathrine Bates, and directed by Martin Thompson, it runs February 6 through March 1 at the Greystone Mansion, in Greystone Park in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-3606 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Activities of Daily Living” An aging woman receives her Medicare card and is expected to don a cloak of invisibility, in the marginalization that Society will expect her to accept. She’ll have none of that. She’s still vital and more than ready to deal with whatever she may encounter. She has been reading a pamphlet called the Activities of Daily Living. Written by Joanna Lipari, and directed by Beth Dunnington, it runs February 7 through February 23 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“A Body of Water” A couple in their 50’s, wake up in an isolated house above a body of water, with no idea where they are or why they are there. The arrival of a young woman with questionable explanations complicates the situation. Written by Lee Blessing, and directed by Nan McNamara, it runs February 7 through March 15 at the Crossley Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“Frida- Stroke of Passion” The play begins on July 6, 1954, Frida’s 47th birthday. She will die exactly one week later. The narrative will explore the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death. (There is an official account of her cause of death, but how did she die really?) This is not all, however. It is the story of a woman living as vibrantly as she can despite dwindling health and a world of pain. She attempts to continue painting. Partially anesthetized by a mixture of tequila and painkillers, she is visited by many lovers, male and female, singer Chavela Vargas, movie star Maria Felix, Communist politician Leon Trotsky, entertainer Josephine Baker, Cuban spy Teresa Proenza, photographer Tina Modotti, and Frida’s husband, painter and muralist Diego Rivera. Some are physically present in her room, others are recreated and present in her vivid memory. The relationship between Frida and Diego is deeply complex. Diego is incapable of sexual monogamy, so much so that he practically pushes Frida into the arms of other lovers. Yet their emotional attachment to each other is surpassingly deep and a thing of wonder. Written and directed by Odalys Nanin, it runs February 7 through February 16 at the Casa 0101 Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.eventbrite.com/e/frida-stroke-of-passion-tickets-85497484277.

“In My Minds Eye” Inspired by true events, this memory play chronicles the life and loves of a courageous, legally-blind female public school teacher. It also explores the delicate balance of how a parent can become dependent on caring for a child with special needs. Written by Doug Haverty, and directed by Bruce Kimmel, it runs February 7 through March 15 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.theGROUPrep.com.

“Bright Star” Inspired by a true story, Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past—and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. With beautiful melodies and powerfully moving characters, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful. Written by Steve Martin, with music by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, and directed by Brenda Dietlan, it runs February 8 through March 14 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

“Never Not Once” follows Eleanor, a young biology student raised by two moms who is curious about her genetics. She comes home from college to introduce her boyfriend to her mothers, and tells them she has hired a private investigator to find her father. As Eleanor continues her journey, unexpected and explosive revelations must be confronted before Eleanor and those around her can move forward. Written by Carey Crim, and directed by Katharine Farmer, it runs February 8 through February 23 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

 

“Frankenstein” is an exuberant amalgamation of dynamic physical theatre, live music and experiential design that brings the tale to life in a modern take that spotlights the dangers of unregulated technology. Sourced predominantly from Shelley’s novel in conjunction with its 200th anniversary, the production awakens new questions about moral responsibility for each generation. Written by Four Larks After Mary Shelley, with music by Mat Sweeney, and directed by Mat Sweeney, it runs February 12 through March 1 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Lovelace Studio Theater in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Frankenstein.

“Revenge Song: A Vampire Cowboys Creation” A rousing, romping, music-filled look at the real life of Julie d’Aubigny, a queer 17th century French swordswoman and opera singer, Revenge Song is a heroine’s journey toward self-discovery and acceptance. In this world premiere Geffen Playhouse commission, conversations about gender and sexuality blend together with the outrageous fun and superhero style of the Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company to create a genre unto itself—a hilarious, historical comedy with hip hop, rock and epic fight scenes. Written by Qui Nguyen, with music by Shane Rettig, lyrics by Qui Nguyen., and directed by Robert Ross Parker, it runs February 13 through March 8 at the Gil Cates Theater at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Hamlet the Rock Musical” In 1976 Broadway history was made, not because of the well-earned multiple night show ending standing ovations, but because just 11 numbers into the 35 song show, Leata Galloway (Gertrude) received a show stopping standing ovation after delivering a theatre shaking, emotionally driven performance of All My Life. In 2020 Los Angeles will make history again when the 21st Century re-imagined version of Hamlet the Rock Musical premieres at the legendary El Portal Theatre. Written by Cliff Jones, with music by Cliff Jones and Craig Fair, and directed by Bill Castellino, it runs February 14 through February 23 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.hamlettherockmusical.com.

 

“Kinky Boots” This big-hearted musical tells the tale of Charlie Price, who is struggling to save his family factory from closure, and Lola the entertainer who tries to help him with wild ideas. The unlikely pair create a snazzy line of stilettos that lights the world on fire, and in the course of it all both learn valuable lessons about compassion and accepting each other’s differences. Written by Harvey Fierstein, with music by Cyndi Lauper, and directed by John Tartaglia, it runs February 14 through March 1 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets call 562-916-8500 or visit www.3dtheatricals.org.

“Law and Order: The Musical!” A grisly murder has taken place, and cops and lawyers can’t stop screwing up their quest for justice. Who killed the seemingly saintly housewife turned prostitute? Is it mob related? A closeted gay foodie? A pompous doorman? Each twist leads to more absurdity and perhaps some insight into what truly ails our criminal justice system. Think Airplane!… with songs and social commentary. For fans of the original beloved series, there are winks and jokes a plenty. For all the hilarity in the new spoof, however, it’s also an edgy and engaging whodunit that will keep you guessing until the very last scene. The action is scored with ten eclectic and original songs. Written and directed by Ilyse Mimoun, with music by Jeremy Adelman, lyrics by Ilyse Mimoun, it runs February 14 through March 15 at the Broadwater Second Stage Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4470025.

“Human Interest Story” A timely drama about homelessness, celebrity worship and the assault on American journalism. Newspaper columnist Andy Kramer is laid off when a corporate takeover downsizes the City Chronicle. In retaliation, Andy fabricates a letter to his column from an imaginary homeless woman named “Jane Doe” who announces she will kill herself on the 4th of July because of the heartless state of the world. When the letter goes viral, Andy is forced to hire a homeless woman to stand-in as the fictitious Jane. She becomes an overnight internet sensation and a national women’s movement is ignited. Written and directed by Stephen Sachs, it runs February 15 through April 5 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

“The Winter’s Tale” re-discovers all that was thought to be lost: old friendships restored; families reunited; and star-crossed lovers beating the odds to be together. Even the most impossible miracles become possible through fantastical feats and wondrous magic. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Geoff Elliott, it runs February 15 through April 11 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“Found” isn’t just based on a true story, it’s based on hundreds of them! When the lost and broke Davy happens to find a peculiar note meant for someone else on the windshield of his car, it sparks an outlandish idea to collect the hilarious and revealing notes and letters that surround us every day. Along with friends, Denise and Mikey D, they’re quickly swept up into a wild, comedic mission to share them with the world. Inspired by Davy Rothbart’s popular Found magazine, featuring scores of actual discarded notes and letters that have been “found” in the real world by everyday people, this original musical comedy is a raucous exploration of human connection and the beautiful weirdness in all of us. Written by Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree, with music by Eli Bolin, and directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, it runs February 20 through March 23 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-380-8843 or visit www.iamatheatre.com.

“Lucid” tells the story of a group of individuals who join a sleep study, hoping to cure their insomnia. But when an unexpected woman shows up, they find themselves trapped in a bizarre collective dream state that forces them to confront dark secrets and hidden truths. Striking, surrealistic and full of unexpected juxtapositions, the devised physical theater work incorporates movement, imagery, soundscape, live and recorded music, as it asks us to look more closely at the waking lies we tell ourselves, the quiet prejudices we carry, and the role fear has in inflating human ego. Written by the ensemble, inspired by Carol Churchill’s Adaptation of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play and the Poems of Anne Sexton, and directed by Madeleine Dahm, it runs February 20 through March 1 at the Hudson Theatre – Mainstage in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.bit.ly/2TrZrCD.

“The Andrews Brothers” A USO show is threatened with cancellation when a certain famous trio of singing sisters fails to show up, so it’s left to three earnest and determined stagehands to go on with the show. Mistaken identities, zany adventures, a bit of cross-dressing and the music of an entire generation highlight this valentine to the heroes of World War II. Written by Roger Bean, and directed by Jamie Torcellini, it runs February 21 through March 8 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

“Birthday Wish” All Claire wants for her birthday is for her rocker boyfriend to not break up with her. What she gets instead are crazy dreams, her dead dad, rock n’ roll, and a better understanding of who she wants to be. Written and directed by Victoria Anne Greenwood, it runs February 21 through March 1 at the Loft Ensemble Sawyer’s Playhouse in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-452-3153 or visit www.loftensemble.org.

“Measure for Measure” Sex and hypocrisy abound in William Shakespeare’s dark comedy about the corruption of power and authority, and the true nature of mercy and justice. His world is familiar: sex is a commodity, government is subject to the leader’s moral whimsy, and licentiousness goes head to head with emergency powers to constrain and punish. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Armin Shimerman and Elizabeth Swain, it runs February 21 through April 6 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

“Hot Tragic Dead Thing” Bekah, a teenage social outcast recovering from a failed suicide attempt, and Miles, a golden boy with a hidden thirst for violence, are thrust into the same house when their parents try to blend their families after disastrous marriages. Bekah and Miles express their budding attraction and increasing obsession with leaving a mark on the world by plotting a mass shooting at their high school. Written by Ashley Rose Wellman, and directed by Christopher James Raymond, it runs February 28 through April 4 at the Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-871-8018 or visit www.theblank.com.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” January 2020 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

“Musket and the Rat” Musket Cherry is a young woman who lives in a gritty, rugged, ungentrified neighborhood in Chicago. Her mom is a deadbeat alcoholic. Musket’s anchors are her beloved brother Weso, her best friend Gay Stevie, and her boyfriend Billy. Times are tough. Musket supports her family by selling heroin and comforts herself with lots of weed. Bad things happen. Weso is arrested on a trumped-up charge and killed in jail. Billy is jumped and robbed. Musket decides to set things right by arming herself. In a world where justice does not exist, maybe those who wrong her will understand her gun. Can Musket prevail over the forces arrayed against her? Written by Sammy Horowitz, and directed by Simon Lees, it runs January 4 through January 18 at the Arena Stage Hollywood in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4423684.

“All My Sons” takes place over one day in the yard of the Midwestern home of the Keller’s in August 1946. Kate, Joe and Chris Keller’s home is a neighborhood hub, on this day the expected and unexpected return of two former neighbors, Ann and George, stir up the secrets of the past and expose who is family and how we justify the sacrifice we make for family. Written by Arthur Miller, and directed by Elina de Santos, it runs January 10 through January 26 at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. For tickets call 310-822-8392 or visit www.pacificresidenttheatre.com.

“Steel Magnolias” How do you solve a problem like that child, Shelby? You don’t. A tender, funny, sad funny play about the family tug of war between mother, (M’lynn) and daughter (Shelby) and their friends who all come to the same beauty parlor. Life and its issues get discussed and dissected in a very Southern and ladylike way. A perennial favorite of the American stage. Written by Robert Harling, and directed by Brandon Ferruccio, it runs January 10 through February 16 at the Theatre Palisades Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.org.

“Supportive White Parents” When an Asian girl tells her parents that she doesn’t want to be a doctor anymore, she wishes on a shooting star for supportive white parents. Written by Joy Regullano, with music by The Sam & Tony Show, lyrics by Joy Regullano, and directed by Frank Caeti, it runs January 10 through April 24 at the Second City Hollywood Studio Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-464-8542 or visit www.secondcity.com/shows/hollywood.

“Fools the Musical” The musical version of Simon’s play, like the original, is set in Ukraine in 1893. A young tutor arrives in Kulyenchikov following a harrowing journey — only to discover that the village is cursed, rendering every resident as dumb as a bag of rocks. Will Leon fall victim to the curse, or can he save himself and the village too? Just how dumb are the villagers? Let us count the ways: smart-dumb, naïve-dumb, bully-dumb, literal-dumb, professionally dumb, bureaucratically dumb… and just plain old stupid. Written by Neil Simon, with music by Phil Swann and Ron West, additional lyrics by Neil Simon, and directed by Ron West, it runs January 11 through January 26 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.

“The Little Match Girl” is a fantastical, heartfelt, piercing tale about love and forgiveness. This world premiere adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story reminds us of the importance of doing what’s right, not what’s easy. Written by Elizabeth Suzanne, and directed by Tor Brown, it runs January 11 through February 16 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-452-3153 or visit www.loftensemble.org.

“Sunday Dinner” Michael Matera, a young priest in the Chicago Archdiocese, returns to his parents’ home in the Bronx after his grandfather dies. The Matera clan is gathering at the family home for Sunday dinner. Soon after Michael arrives, his retired working-class father Eddie confesses a sin (more like a felony, really) to Michael. It’s a misdeed which could have serious consequences for other members of the family. To Eddie’s dismay, Michael refuses to grant him absolution. There are reasons for this (which won’t be given away here; You’ll have to see the play to find out). Eddie’s not the only one with secrets. Michael has a few of his own. He’s admitted to himself that he’s gay, but he hasn’t yet come out to his family. Things are about to get more complicated, as Michael’s female ex-lover (who is still interested in him) has also been invited as a guest for Sunday dinner. Can the Materas withstand the weight of so much sin, secrecy and shame? Would revealing all cleanse the family or destroy it? Written and directed by Tony Blake, it runs January 16 through February 16 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“The Giver” Life in the futuristic community where The Giver and Jonas live is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce new children, who are assigned to appropriate family units: one male, one female, to each. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs and no one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. The community is a precisely choreographed world without conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment, injustice…or choice. Join us for this multimedia presentation as we follow Jonas’ journey filled with heightened sensory experiences from a place of sameness… to elsewhere. Written by Lois Lowry, adapted for the stage by Eric Coble, and directed by Harold Dershimer, it runs January 17 through February 22 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“Laura” Nina’s estranged and only daughter, Laura, comes home for an unexpected visit, forcing them to confront painful truths about themselves and their relationship – and the ultimate revelation may be too much to bear. Written and directed by Jessica Silvetti, it runs January 17 through January 19 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/laura.html.

“Nowhere on the Border” A border watch volunteer confronts a Mexican man who claims to be looking for his missing daughter. Set in a hostile wasteland between nations, the story reveals the personal dramas that drive people to cross borders both physical and emotional. Written by Carlos Lacamara, and directed by Stewart J. Zully, it runs January 17 through March 8 at the Road on Magnolia in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.roadtheatre.org.

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is the tale of a man determined to seek vengeance. Framed and imprisoned by a corrupt judge whom he believes responsible for the death of his beloved wife, Todd returns to London after being rescued by a sailor. The sailor, Anthony, falls for the judge’s beautiful ward, in reality Todd’s daughter Johanna. She is smitten with Anthony. But Johanna is the subject of Judge Turpin’s vile lust, and he keeps her confined, intent on marrying her himself. Todd, meanwhile, returns to his former profession of barbering, a means of pursuing his revenge wherein he can slit the throats of his enemies. Entering into a partnership with a new friend, the baker Mrs. Lovett, his victims become the stuffing of her enormously popular meat pies. Written by Hugh Wheeler, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Mirai Booth-Ong, it runs January 17 through February 1 at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena. For tickets visit www.youngstarstheatre.org/tickets.

“The Water Tribe” Claudia is young, parentless, minimally employed, and almost without family or friends but she remains upbeat about her future and confident in her quest to form a personal tribe for herself and her boyfriend Johnny. But Johnny has problems of his own. He has launched into adulthood but still struggles to cut the cord from his concerned mother while searching for a connection to his long-absent father. As the few people Claudia has in her life begin to fall away and the problems in her relationship are laid bare, she teeters on the brink of catastrophe in this searing, darkly funny tragicomedy about the critical importance of community, identity, and home. Written by Don Cummings, and directed by Tricia Small, it runs January 17 through February 9 at the VS. Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-839-1197 or visit www.estlosangeles.org.

“Cirque du Soleil VOLTA” is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others. Written by Bastien Alexandre, with music by Anthony Gonzalez, and directed by Bastien Alexandre and Jean Guibert, it runs January 18 through March 8 at the Dodger Stadium (Under the Big Top) in Los Angeles. For tickets call 877-924-7783 or visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/volta.

“It’s Only a Play” It’s opening night of Peter Austin’s new Broadway play, The Golden Egg, as he anxiously awaits to see if it’s a hit. With his career on the line, he shares his big First Night with his “best” friend, a television star, his novice producer, his doped-up diva, his genius director, a lethal drama critic, and a fresh-off-the-bus coat check attendant on his first night in Manhattan. It’s alternately raucous, ridiculous and tender—and proves that sometimes the biggest laughs happen offstage! Written by Terrence McNally, and directed by Aric Martin, it runs January 18 through February 9 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

“Mistakes Were Made – Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda” Dick’s mistake: He let a sexy, blue-eyed winker threaten his marriage. Jeff’s mistake: He turned down a dream job, then later, screamed, “You idiot!” Mel’s mistake: He hired a famous money manager, now famous for stealing money. Dick’s wife’s mistake: She trusted him, then learned of his affair and had one too. NOBODY’S PERFECT! But mistakes can be fixed, between husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, fathers and sons. Written by Jerry Mayer, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs January 18 through April 5 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com/mistakes.html.

“The Unseen Hand and Killer’s Head” What happens when 1880 Western bandits are brought back to life in Azusa, CA by a space alien? E.T. meets the Old West in Sam Shepard’s The Unseen Hand, a hilarious yet foreboding sci-fi Western about a trio of legendary cowboys resurrected to help a mutant extraterrestrial free his people from slavery. The evening also includes Shepard’s gritty and audacious Killer’s Head, a murderer’s monologue delivered as he awaits electrocution, performed by a rotating cast of prominent actors including Steve Howey and Dermot Mulroney. Written by Sam Shepard, and directed by Darrell Larson, it runs January 18 through March 8 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“Love in Bloom” Magic and mayhem, fops and fairies, mistaken identity, romance and humor abound in this tongue-firmly-in-cheek evening of theatre. The eight-member cast, in the renowned Actors’ Repertory Theatre commedia-carnival style, creates a host of over thirty characters, bringing to the stage all the stuff that dreams (and musicals) are made on. Written and directed by Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, with music by Evelyn Rudie with Matthew Wrather, it runs January 19 through March 1 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.

“Gifted” Ashlyn has a special power – she can tell the romantic fate of any couple she sees, but cannot tell the same for herself. Enter a world of love and longing, humor and heartbreak, with a touch of magical realism. There is no fear we can’t face in this world, because we are all gifted. Written by Bob DeRosa, and directed by Rebecca Larsen, it runs January 24 through February 29 at the Broadwater Black Box in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“Arsenic and Old Lace” Combining murder and mayhem with zany humor, here’s an uproarious black comedy that gives “hospitality” a bad name! Meet Abby and Martha Brewster, two spinster sisters known for their acts of charity — which lately includes poisoning lonely old men with arsenic-laced elderberry wine. When their nephew finds out about the corpses in the cellar, he’s in a frantic race to deal with his aunts, his fiancée, and two crazy brothers – one who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt and one who is a dead-ringer for Boris Karloff! Don’t miss one of America’s most popular comedies in a spiffy new production that will slay you with laughter! Written by Joseph Kesselring, and directed by Casey Stangl, it runs January 25 through February 16 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

“Cirque Éloize Hotel” Enter the lobby doors and discover the grand universe of Cirque Éloize’s new creation, a dazzling show inspired by the world’s greatest hotels. The glamour and flash of a golden era come to life in this family-friendly spectacle, with their signature acrobatics, juggling, and daring aerial feats, all accompanied by the company’s own musicians. Hotel is a stopover where lives intersect, just long enough for tales and memories to be forged. Written and directed by Cirque Éloize, it runs January 25 through January 26 at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts in Northridge. For tickets call 818-677-3000 or visit www.TheSoraya.org.

“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly” Jane and Elizabeth, the beloved elder Bennet sisters from Pride and Prejudice, are happily married. But what of bookish middle sister Mary, who would rather spend her time reading than looking for love? When an unexpected visitor arrives at Pemberley, Mary finds herself attracted to the stranger through a shared passion for knowledge. Will the pair surmount their penchant for logic in favor of love? Written by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, and directed by Bradley Griffin, it runs January 28 through February 1 at the Lindhurst Theatre, Pepperdine University in Malibu. For tickets call 310-506-4522 or visit www.arts.pepperdine.edu.

“This Side of Crazy” Ditty Blaylock, the most prolific singer in gospel music history, is being honored by “Gospel Music Network.” All the stars are aligning to sing Ditty’s songs on her TV special. But there is one glitch. A little hiccup. Ditty has promised a reunion of The Blaylock Sisters, her three adult daughters who were once national sensations – “little superstars for Jesus.” Rachel, the oldest sister, who lives with Ditty, is furious when she finds out that her baby sister Bethany, an atheist and lesbian, and Abigail, her middle sister, who has “anger issues” and is currently confined to a mental facility, are headed home. What the public is unaware of is that these complicated sisters have been estranged for over twenty-five years – and extreme past circumstances, including a husband left in a coma, have made reconciliation impossible. Once reunited, secrets are revealed, tempers flare and family wounds are exposed. Written and directed by Del Shores, it runs January 31 through March 8 at the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood. For tickets visit www.delshores.com.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” December 2019 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows running in our local theaters this holiday season:

“Little Black Dress the Musical” follows the story of Dee and her best friend Mandy experiencing life through their little black dresses – first job interview, first date, first awkward sexual experience, second awkward sexual experience and more! Using hilarious improv, catchy songs, and a heartfelt story, LITTLE BLACK DRESS has made audiences across the globe laugh, cry, and party! Written by Danielle Trzcinski, Natalie Tenenbaum and Christopher Bond, with music by Natalie Tenenbaum, and directed by Christopher Bond, it runs December 3 through December 15 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 213-628-2772 or visit www.KirkDouglasTheatre.org.

“A Christmas Carol” A mesmerizing one-man production, performed by David Mynne, is NOT your run-of-the-mill adaptation. This production, doused with EXTRA humbug for adults (and BRAVE children ages 8+), sends audiences home remembering a cast of dozens. Written by Charles Dickens, and directed by Simon Harvey, it runs December 4 through December 8 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Lovelace Studio in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Christmas.

“A Christmas Carol” allows families to once again take a supremely theatrical journey and celebrate the transformative power of forgiveness during the holidays. Ebenezer Scrooge’s rebirth from miserly curmudgeon to the epitome of love and generosity affirms our faith in the potent goodness of humanity during this beloved time of year. Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Geoff Elliott, and directed by Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs December 4 through December 23 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” Every year, insurance agent Bob Finhead’s whacked out friends and clients stop by his small-town Iowa office for their annual holiday bash. The town mayor, the sheriff, the twin farmer sisters, the stoner, the town floozy and the pastor’s wife have already RSVP’d for this year’s event. But Bob has dreams of a bigger life and wants to escape their narrow-minded thinking. Will he be able to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional inventor and move to the big city, or will he come to realize how much he is the heart and soul of the town? Written by Joe Keyes and Rob Elk, and directed by Matt Roth, it runs December 5 through December 22 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4422945.

“Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirates’ Christmas” is a singing, swashbuckling adventure performed in the high-flying style of a British holiday Panto. Take off on a wild quest with Tinker Bell, Wendy and Peter Pan as they try to put a stop to the plot of some dastardly pirates who plan to kidnap Peter as a present to Captain Hook. Filled with big laughs, magic, dancers and contemporary songs by everyone from Taylor Swift to The Bee Gees, this family show has a little bit of something for everyone. Written by Kris Lythgoe, and directed by Becky Lythgoe, it runs December 5 through December 29 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Sugar Plum Fairy” is the story of Loh’s holiday trauma, which revolves around the piles of tinsel, reindeer infestations, too-cheery tales of preternaturally good-hearted children—and the memories of a particularly fraught childhood holiday. At the age of 12, she was obsessed with landing the highly coveted lead role in the Beverly Rosann School of Dance’s production of The Nutcracker. Written by Sandra Tsing Loh, and directed by Bart De Lorenzo, it runs December 5 through December 22 at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

“Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)” Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told — plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung. a madcap romp through the holiday season! An outrageous holiday romp for the whole family (except those who still believe in Santa)! Written by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez, and directed by Gary Lamb, it runs December 6 through December 29 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“SANTASIA – A Holiday Comedy” is celebrating its 20th year. This Off-Broadway Hit and Critics’ Pick laugh out loud annual holiday romp, is the perfect blend of Yuletide snark and sentiment, and has been compared to “The Carol Burnett Show”, “The Kids in the Hall”, “In Living Color”, “Saturday Night Live” and Vaudeville. This multi-media holiday special has it all including classic Rankin and Bass Claymation inspired movies, musical parodies, and heartfelt holiday moments. Written by Shaun and Brandon Loeser, and directed by Shaun Loeser, it runs December 6 through December 28 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets visit www.Santasia.com.

“A Christmas Carole King” For their 18th annual holiday offering, The Troubies have combined the soulful sounds of songstress Carole King with one of the most enduring stories of our time – Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” – and the result is SO FAR AWAY from what you’d expect!  Will Ebenezer Scrooge wake up ONE FINE DAY feeling like a NATURAL WOMAN and finally BELIEVE IN HUMANITY?  Will he break his CHAINS and be shown what’s truly BEAUTIFUL, and discover he has a CORAZON before IT’S TOO LATE, BABY? Will Tiny Tim go UP ON THE ROOF and ask, WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW?  This December do the LOCOMOTION, (or the NoHo Metro) to the El Portal Theatre for many happy tidings of comfort and joy. Prepare for the rockin’ sounds of the Troubadorchestra to make you FEEL THE EARTH MOVE UNDER YOUR FEET! Experience the Holi-daze like never before, because, this magical season, YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND in the Troubies! Written and directed by Matt Walker, with music by Derrick Finely, it runs December 13 through December 22 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

 

“The Christmas Present” In this clever holiday dark comedy, Colin, a divorced businessman, decides to cheer himself up by hiring a female companion to visit him in his posh London hotel room over Christmas. Unfortunately, the girl who arrives is not quite what he’d been fantasizing for. Can this mismatched couple make it to Boxing Day without killing each other? Written and directed by Guy Picot, it runs December 13 through December 22 at the Broadwater Black Box in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4430834.

“Marvels of Magic” is a new play set in the world of young magicians. Wannabe illusionist Gus is compelled to enter the “Marvels of Magic” competition – a gathering of all the top young magicians on the planet, with the once in a lifetime prize of a Las Vegas show! As they gather to compete, these young magicians all grow close, becoming fast friends. But will they let their competitive natures, and their desires for fame and success get in the way of what is really important? MARVELS OF MAGIC explores what is trick and what is truth in this compelling, magical, coming of age story. Written by Andrew Simmons, and directed by Enrico De La Vega, it runs December 13 through December 15 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.marvelsofmagicshow.com.

“A Snow White Christmas” An updated version of the classic fairy tale, Princess Snow White joins forces with the Seven Dwarves to defeat her wicked aunt, the Queen. In the style of British Panto, audiences are encouraged to interact, booing the baddies and cheering for the hero. The show features family-friendly magic, with a comedic twist, dancing (with “So You Think You Can Dance” alumni), contemporary music and more. Written by Kris Lythgoe, and directed by Bonnie Lythgoe, it runs December 13 through December 22 at the Pasadena Civic in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-449-7360 or visit www.thepasadenacivic.com.

“The Nutcracker” This production boasts a full symphony orchestra, a flying sleigh, a real live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics, and a cast of over 200. Former Disney designers Elliot Hessayon and Scott Schaffer created the enchanting scenery, Australian artist Adrian Clark designed the detailed costumes, and renowned magician Franz Harary created the special effects, including a magical costume switch, involving Clara instantly changing from her nightgown into a gleaming ball gown. Written by E. T. A. Hoffmann, with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and directed by David Wilcox, it runs December 14 through December 22 at the Terrace Theatre, Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 877-852-3177 or visit www.LongBeachNutcracker.com.

 

“Plaid Tidings” is a heavenly holiday hit. It tells the story of a loveable, nerdy “guy group” from the 50s and 60s (in the style of the Four Lads, The Four Freshman and The Crew Cuts) who were struck down in the prime of life and are now sent back to Earth to perform the big holiday concert they never got to perform in life. The show includes holiday favorites such as “Cool Yule,” “Let it Snow,” and “Joy to the World”; a hysterically funny speed-date version of “The Ed Sullivan Show” featuring the Rockettes, the Chipmunks and The Vienna Boys Choir; and other memorable hits from the era, like “Sh-Boom,” “Fever” and “Hey There.” Written and directed by Stuart Ross, it runs December 14 through December 29 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Charley’s Aunt” Charley and Jack love Amy and Kitty. Amy is about to go away, and Charley thinks he may miss his opportunity to ask for her hand in marriage. Then he discovers that his aunt, a Brazilian woman he hardly knows, is coming for lunch. How fortuitous! Now the aunt can chaperone while the boys ask the girls to marry them. Naturally things don’t go as planned. Donna Lucia, the aunt, is late, and their friend, Lord Fancourt Babberley (Babbs) shows up in drag. He is convinced to pretend to be Donna Lucia, and a wild afternoon of mistaken identity, young love, old love, angry uncles, and one beautiful, exotic aunt ensues. In the end, just as it looks like Uncle Stephen is going to ruin everything, the real Donna Lucia steps in and graciously puts an end to the madness. All the lovers end up together and happy, except for Uncle Stephen, who was starting to fall for Babbs! Written by Brandon Thomas, adapted by Carter Thomas, and directed by Carter Thomas, it runs December 31 through February 1 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

 

This Christmas, as always, we want to send out warm wishes to all of our devoted readers, to all of the public relations representatives we deal with and their staff, and to all of the staff at the publications that make these columns possible throughout the year. Have a healthy, happy, and memorable Holiday Season from Steve and Sid!

“Scene in LA” November 2019 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night” 15-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain: He is exceptional at mathematics but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched, and he distrusts strangers. Now it is seven minutes after midnight, and Christopher stands beside his neighbor’s dead dog, Wellington, who has been speared with a garden fork. Finding himself under suspicion, Christopher is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington, and he carefully records each fact of the crime. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a thrilling journey that upturns his world. Written by Simon Stephens, and directed by Kate Jopson, it runs November 1 through December 29 at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.GreenwayCourtTheatre.org.

“Elijah” Hurricane Elijah has closed down all the roads in a small town in Texas. A disparate group of people take refuge in a TGIFridays restaurant, while, weather permitting, a high-profile execution is scheduled in a nearby prison. The restaurant is low on staff, low on food, but loaded with revelatory exchanges between both intimates and strangers who are impacted by the hurricane, the execution, and the difficulty of reconciling mercy and violence in this little corner of the world. Written by Judith Leora, and directed by Maria Gobetti, it runs November 1 through December 15 at the Big Victory Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5421 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.

“Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play” brings a heartwarming and classic tale of faith, love, and the gift of miracles to the holiday season, featuring live Foley effects and a score of holiday carols this beautiful story is sure to ring in Christmas for all. Written by Lance Arthur Smith, with music by Jon Lorenz, and directed by Leo Bwarie, it runs November 1 through December 15 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 Ext. 300 or visit www.actorsco-op.org.

“Orry” You’re invited to the funeral of three-time Oscar winner and Hollywood legend, costume designer Orry-Kelly. Don’t expect a little thing like death to stop the whip tongue and quick wit of the unapologetically gay Australian rascal who dressed and heard the secrets of stars like Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Merle Oberon, Ingrid Bergman and Mae West — just to name a few. Fearless, funny and outspoken, Orry-Kelly lived life to the fullest, from his childhood in Kiama, to reveling in Sydney’s underworld nightlife, to chasing his dreams of acting in New York, to Hollywood. Based on his memoir “Women I’ve Undressed” — found in a pillowcase in suburban Sydney nearly 51 years after his death — Orry incorporates music, dance, vaudeville routines, puppetry, digital art, special effects and a taste of those incredible gowns to share his irresistible story. Anyone who loves classic movies, fashion, gossip and Cary Grant will love Orry. Written by Nick Hardcastle, and directed by Wayne Harrison, it runs November 1 through November 11 at the Lee Strasberg Theatre in West Hollywood. For tickets call 855-326-9945 or visit www.Gentleman-George.com.

“Ruthless, The Musical” Eight-year-old Tina Denmark knows she was born to play Pippi Longstocking, and she will do anything to win the part in her school musical, “Anything” up to and including murdering the leading lady!”. Written by Joel Paley, with music by Marvin Laird, lyrics by Joel Paley, and directed by Alta Abbot, it runs November 1 through December 8 at the Theatre Palisades Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.org.

“The Best Man” An ideally timed race to the finish line between two candidates at the Presidential National Nominating Convention gets personal. Sexual indiscretions threaten one of the frontrunners career and marriage, as the other tries to live by their principles while faced with health issues that threaten his vote-winning potential. Vying for support from the outgoing president, both stay primed for battle, out front and behind the scenes, in this cynically humorous recap of the U.S. election process. Written by Gore Vidal, and directed by Gary Lee Reed, it runs November 2 through December 8 at the Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7787 or visit www.onstage411.com/bestman.

“La Vie en Rose” Grammy-winning chanteuse Julia Migenes travels back to the Paris of Edith Piaf, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway in this evening of nostalgic French chansons by Charles Aznavour, Léo Ferre, Jacques Brel, Michel Legrand and others. Accompanied on piano by Victoria Kirsch. Written by Julia Migenes, and directed by Peter Medak, it runs November 2 through December 14 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“The Thanksgiving Play” How does one celebrate Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month at the same time? In this biting satire, this is the question facing three “woke” white thespians tasked with devising an elementary school pageant about the first Thanksgiving while avoiding any culturally appropriative missteps. A roast of the politics of entertainment and well-meaning political correctness alike, it puts the American origin story itself in the comedy-crosshairs. Written by Larissa FastHorse, and directed by Michael John Garcés, it runs November 5 through December 1 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

 “The Great Leap” When an American basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game, the coaches find themselves in a conflict that runs deeper than the strain between the countries, and a young player’s actions abroad become the accidental focus of attention. Written by Lauren Yee, and directed by BD Wong, it runs November 6 through December 1 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

“Fruition” In a lawless near future, decades of unchecked greed, bigotry and fear have led to the collapse of governments and society as we know it. Seeking shelter in an abandoned warehouse, four strangers with no reason to trust each other must decide if they can work together to survive the deadly storm outside, while they face the threats they pose to one another. Written by Alexis DeLaRosa, and directed by Lauren Smerkanich, it runs November 7 through December 7 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or visit www.theatreofnote.com.

“Eight Nights” Set during eight different nights of Chanukah over the course of eight decades, Eight Nights tells the story of Holocaust survivor Rebecca Blum, who arrives in America at age 19 to forge a new life. As Rebecca moves through time, the play explores the lives that come and go in her New York apartment, where ghosts of the past both haunt and guide her. Maisel lyrically weaves together heart-aching moments with life-affirming humor to call out the trauma experienced not only by concentration camp survivors, but by African American descendants of slavery, by interned Japanese Americans, and by current victims of war in Africa and the Middle East. Written by Jennifer Maisel, and directed by Emily Chase, it runs November 8 through December 16 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

“Waiting for Waiting for Godot” Ester and Val are understudies for a production of Waiting for Godot. They are committed to art, and frustrated by anonymity. They understand their purpose, but not the reasons they stay. They accept their fate, but question each other’s motives, all while waiting for “him“ to appear. A backstage farce packed with profound insight, existential dread, and shameless punchlines, this is the Beckett companion you didn’t know you needed. Written by Dave Hanson, and directed by Jacob Sidney, it runs November 8 through December 14 at the Broadwater Second Stage in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“Defenders” follows three American G.I.s who are shipwrecked on the remote island of Hrisey off Iceland’s northern coast. The stranded G.I.s find themselves with missing weapons, few supplies, and a broken radio. They realize they must rely on the locals for survival but, like current-day warfare, the locals fear the loss of their culture, their women and their safety with the presence of foreigners on their land. As the mysterious history of Hrisey’s long-ago battle with pirate invaders comes slowly to light the past and the present mix and the soldiers, Icelanders, and the land itself are forced to ask just who is defending whom. Written by Cailin Harrison, and directed by Reena Dutt, it runs November 9 through December 8 at the Broadwater Black Box in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-5770 or visit www.Onstage411.com/defenders.

“The Lion in Winter” It’s Christmas 1183, and King Henry II is planning to announce his successor to the throne. The jockeying for the crown, though, is complex. Henry has three sons and wants his boy, Prince John, to take over. Henry’s wife, Queen Eleanor, has other ideas. She believes their son Prince Richard should be king. As the family and various schemers gather for the holiday, each tries to make the indecisive king choose their option. The Lion in Winter has all the makings of this modern-day classic – sibling rivalry, adultery, and dungeons. Comedic in tone, dramatic in action – the play tells the story of the Plantagenet family, who are locked in a free-for-all of competing ambitions to inherit a kingdom. Written by James Goldman, and directed by Sheldon Epps, it runs November 10 through November 24 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Before” Inside Clery’s of Dublin, on the very day this iconic department store shuts for good, Pontius is trying to choose a gift for his estranged daughter, whom he hasn’t seen for almost 20 years. He will meet her in an hour. This father’s journey is both beautiful and strange, from the isolation of his Midlands home, to the madness of O’Connell Street. Some folk are impossible to buy for. Written by Pat Kinevane, with music by Denis Clohessy, and directed by Jim Culleton, it runs November 14 through December 8 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room” Chicago, June, 1920. The Republican National Convention is in full swing. Warren G. Harding is overwhelmed by the prospect of being the nominee of the Republican Party for President. Hounded by an ambitious campaign manager, a paralyzingly superstitious wife, a star-struck young mistress, and the frightening pull of inevitability, Harding seems destined to be President—-or is he? This play explores the extent to which fate controls our lives. Is there a higher power that determines our destinies or are we the aggregate result of the idiosyncrasies of flawed humanity? Written by Colin Speer Crowley, and directed by Jules Aaron, it runs November 14 through December 15 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Hot Tragic Dead Thing” Bekah, a teenage social outcast recovering from a failed suicide attempt, and Miles, a golden boy with a hidden thirst for violence, are thrust into the same house when their parents try to blend their families after disastrous marriages. Bekah and Miles express their budding attraction and increasing obsession with leaving a mark on the world by plotting a mass shooting at their high school. Written by Ashley Rose Wellman, and directed by Christopher James Raymond, it runs November 14 through November 23 at the Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-871-8018 or email tix@theblank.com.

“Key Largo” is a bold reimagining of Maxwell Anderson’s Broadway hit that became the iconic noir film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Returning from World War II, disillusioned Frank McCloud travels to a hotel in Key Largo to pay his respects to the widow of a fallen friend. What McCloud doesn’t count on is an entirely different battle with mobsters who have overtaken the hotel, led by the ruthless Johnny Rocco. As a hurricane barrels toward the Keys, McCloud must face his demons in order to take down a monster. Written by Maxwell Anderson, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher and Andy Garcia, with music by Arturo Sandoval, and directed by Doug Hughes, it runs November 14 through December 15 at the Gil Cates Theater at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Little Women, The Broadway Musical” The story follows the lives, loves and tribulations of the sisters growing up during the American Civil War. Meg, Jo, Beth & Amy live in Concord, Massachusetts with their Marmee while their father is on the battlefield. Filled with adventure (both lived and imagined), heartbreak, and a deep sense of hope, the struggle of these “Little Women” to find their own voices mirrors the growing pains of a young America, reminding us that “sometimes when you dream, your dreams come true.”. Written by Louisa May Alcott, adapted by Jason Howland, Mindi Dickstein and Allan Knee, with music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, and directed by Jennifer Richardson, it runs November 15 through December 21 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“Ragtime” Set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-century New York, three individuals—a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant, and a daring young Harlem musician—are united by their courage, compassion, and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and what it means to live in America. Written by Terrence McNally, with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and directed by Kelly Todd, it runs November 15 through November 23 at the Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University in Malibu. For tickets call 310-506-4522 or visit www.arts.pepperdine.edu.

“Unraveled” Joy is a professor of physics and philosophy, who has spent her life exploring theories of space and time. None of that has prepared her for the reality of watching cancer unravel her mother’s mind and body. As the hard work of care-taking begins to take its toll, she hires Anna, a hospice nurse, to help her mother. But when the rules of space and time no longer provide Joy the answers she needs, can Anna’s simple lessons of how to care for another person help Joy knit the pieces of her life together again? Written by Jennifer Blackmer, and directed by Steve Jarrard, it runs November 15 through December 8 at the Sherry Theater in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-6569 or visit www.unraveled.bpt.me.

“Punkplay” Mickey and Duck are two teenage boys trying to make sense of the world in the mess of 80s America. Through the music and culture of punk rock, they patch together a precarious identity, skating (literally) between the demands of an increasingly strict subculture and an authentic desire to break free from convention. A coming of age story in the form of a mixtape, this is a theatrical love letter to loud music, irresponsible behavior and the beating heart of authenticity we all strive to preserve. Written by Gregory S. Moss, and directed by Matt Bretz & Lisa Sanaye Dring, it runs November 16 through December 21 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets visit www.buytickets.at/circlextheatrecompany/304274.

“Salvage” Having a dream is like running with scissors. Harley, a singer-songwriter whose wife is expecting their first child, has decided to hang up his dream before it destroys his family. On his way to pawn his guitar, he stumbles across the bar where his musical hero, Floyd Whitaker, died. Upon entering, he finds an inhospitable bartender and a single, surly customer, who’s strumming the blues on an old guitar. How could he resist an adventure like this? Written by Tim Alderson, and directed by Damian D. Lewis, it runs November 16 through December 15 at the Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7712 or visit www.Onstage411.com/Salvage.

“Annie” In the depths of the 1930’s, Annie is a fiery young orphan girl who must live in a miserable orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Her seemingly hopeless situation changes dramatically when she is selected to spend a short time at the residence of the wealthy munitions industrialist, Oliver Warbucks. Written by Thomas Meehan, with music by Charles Strouse, and directed by Noah Skultety, it runs November 22 through December 1 at the Studio Channel Islands in Camarillo. For tickets visit www.csparepertory.net.

“Seven” collaborated to create this compelling tapestry of stories, weaving together the words of seven remarkable women who faced life-threatening obstacles to bring about major improvements in the lives of women and girls in their home countries. ÉLAN Ensemble, using its signature physical theatre techniques, brings these unforgettable stories to life. Written by Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith, and Susan Yankowitz, and directed by Natsuko Ohama, it runs November 23 through December 16 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-990-2023 or visit www.seven.brownpapertickets.com.

“The Legend of Georgia McBride” He’s young, he’s broke, his landlord’s knocking at the door, and he’s just found out his wife is going to have a baby. To make matters even more desperate, Casey is fired from his gig as an Elvis impersonator in a run-down, small-town Florida dive bar. When the bar owner brings in a B-level drag show to replace his act, Casey finds that he has a whole lot to learn about show business – and himself. A clever comedy wrapped in sequins, it features show stopping drag numbers with music ranging from Kesha to Judy Garland. Written by Matthew Lopez, and directed by Michael J. Marchak, it runs November 24 through February 9 at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-605-5685 or visit www.crowncitytheatre.com.

“Love Actually Live” uniquely brings together friends and family alike to experience the unforgettable holiday classic in a three-dimensional world where the film and live action seamlessly intertwine throughout the London setting. Iconic scenes displayed on screens that travel throughout the set, share the stage with an all-star cast of singers and 15-piece orchestra as they reimagine the film’s hit soundtrack including “Christmas is All Around,” “Trouble with Love,” and “Both Sides Now.” Written and directed by Anderson Davis, it runs November 27 through December 29 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Love.

“A Christmas Carol” visits from three ghosts help Scrooge to see the light and change his ways. This wonderful, optimistic Christmas message shows us that, the human spirit is capable of renewal and its hopeful message has earned a place of honor in the hearts of generations. Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the lively carolers will put you in the perfect holiday mood! Glendale Centre Theatre’s traditional dramatization of Ebenezer Scrooge’s life-changing Christmas Eve is entertaining, captivating, and touching. Written by Charles Dickens, it runs November 28 through December 24 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

 

“The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever!” Sixteen actors play nearly 30 characters in a holiday spectacular that will put you in a festive mood! A play-within-a-play, this fast-paced comedy follows a small, LGBTQ+ community theatre as it struggles to pull together its annual holiday pageant. Written by Joe Marshall, and directed by Bree Pavey, it runs November 29 through December 22 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-452-3153 or visit www.loftensemble.org.

“Bob Baker’s Nutcracker” Bob Baker’s adaptation of the ballet classic is one of Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s most beloved shows since it began in 1969.  Imagination dwells at Pasadena Playhouse, in a space specially outfitted for optimal holiday and puppetry joy. Allow the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and over 100 handcrafted puppets to take you on an adventure through the wizardry of strings and into the enchanted world of the fantastic… Nutcracker. The show runs November 30 through December 29 at the Pasadena Playhouse Carrie Hamilton Theatre in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.

“The SantaLand Diaries” Patrick Censoplano once again dons the candy-cane tights for a Santa Monica Playhouse holiday celebration in this outrageously funny one-man play from NPR’s well-loved humorist David Sedaris. The SantaLand Diaries, based on Sedaris’s experiences as an unemployed writer taking a job as an elf at Macy’s department store in New York City, takes a wry look at how the holiday season brings out the best – and the worst – in us all. Written by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs November 30 through December 20 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” October 2019 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

“A Kid Like Jake” is about a mother and father trying to do right by their son is a study of intimacy and parenthood, and the fantasies that accompany both. On the eve of the admissions cycle for New York City kindergartens, Alex and Greg have high hopes for their son Jake, a precocious four-year-old who happens to prefer Cinderella to G.I. Joe. But as the process continues, Jake’s behavior becomes erratic and perplexing, and other adults in his life start to wonder whether his fondness for dress-up might be cause for concern. Written by Daniel Pearle, and directed by Jennifer Chambers, it runs October 3 through November 3 at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 323-380-8843 or visit www.iamatheatre.com.

“The Mystery of Irma Vep – A Penny Dreadful” a hilarious fright fest, complete with a cast of monsters and an Egyptian princess. This two-actor, multi-character show will spellbind audiences with its nod to the classic Gothic melodramas and early fright flicks of the 30s and 40s. Written by Charles Ludlam, and directed by Carla Cackowski, it runs October 4 through November 10 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“Night of the Living Dead” Seven strangers barricade themselves inside a Pennsylvania farmhouse, attempting to escape the bloodthirsty, flesh-eating ghouls ravaging the countryside. Beset by the walking dead outside, and ever-rising interpersonal tensions within, the group begins their desperate attempt to survive the night. Written by George A. Romero, and directed by Drina Durazo, it runs October 4 through November 10 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“To T, or not to T” In a hilariously intimate reflection on taking T(estosterone) and his experiences transitioning, D’Lo shares his confusion with, and pushback to, what is expected when one passes as a cisgender, straight, man of color. Fusing stand-up comedy and storytelling, it confronts D’Lo’s quest to embody a beautiful masculinity that upholds his queer and feminist politic. Written by D’Lo, and directed by Adelina Anthony, it runs October 4 through October 27 at the Davidson/Valentini Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.

“Art is Useless When You’re Being Mauled by a Bear” In the play, a woman must see the truth and find acceptance in a fantastical adventure through grief and loss, fairy tales, and realities. And, yes … there’s a bear. Written by Alisa Tangredi, and directed by JJ Mayes and Bree Pavey, it runs October 5 through November 10 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-452-3153 or visit www.loftensemble.org.

“Love in Bloom” Magic and mayhem, fops and fairies, mistaken identity, romance and humor abound in this tongue-firmly-in-cheek evening of theatre. The eight-member cast, in the renowned Actors’ Repertory Theatre commedia-carnival style, creates a host of over thirty characters, bringing to the stage all the stuff that dreams (and musicals) are made on. Written and directed by Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, with music by Evelyn Rudie with Matthew Wrather, it runs October 5 through November 23 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.

“Mono/Poly” Two monogamous couples encounter a polyamorous triad at a costume party. The triad becomes entwined in the business and personal lives of the first two couples, forcing them to examine their long-held beliefs about love and marriage. Although sexually free, the members of the triad adhere to their own fairly rigid ethical code. Who’s moral now? Will the couples and the triad live happily ever after? Although the new sex comedy does not contain nudity, there are frank discussions of sexuality, straight and gay, with some suggestive depiction. This play is suggested for audiences 18 to Adult. Written and directed by Brian Reynolds, it runs October 5 through November 10 at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.monopolytheplay.com.

“1984” Winston Smith hates his job. He works in the Ministry of Information rewriting history to serve the interests of the powerful. Winston’s soul is stirring with rebellion and his heart alive with love. Welcome to a world of no privacy, where electronic screens create paranoia, divisiveness and hatred for the ‘other’, where the state manufactures consent for perpetual war, and where truth is manipulated and love itself is an act of rebellion. Seventy-one years ago, in writing his visionary novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell eerily predicted the world we are currently living in. Written by George Orwell, adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan, and directed by Tim Robbins, it runs October 10 through December 7 at the Actors’ Gang Theater in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.TheActorsGang.com.

“Perra de Nadie” In the deepest part of everyone, where the underworld of vulnerability, madness, tenderness and fragility exist, lives Lili and her night watchmen, and her endearing vastness blooms. The topics she deals with are close to the darkness and imperfection of the human being. Presented in Spanish with English supertitles. Written and directed by Marta Carrasco, it runs October 10 through October 20 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

“The Abuelas” In March of 1976, a military junta seized control of Argentina. Those opposed to the new government were told “to make themselves invisible, or they would be made to vanish.” By September of that year, the regime was already responsible for an average of 30 abductions each day. From these abductions, a new word came into common usage: desaparecidos, the “disappeareds.” Among those detained and tortured were young pregnant women who rarely survived, and whose babies were then stolen and illegally adopted out to “politically acceptable” parents. Despite the atmosphere of fear promoted by the junta regime, two groups of women — representing the mothers and grandmothers of the disappeared — began protesting the disappearances of their relatives and striving for the reunification of their families. “The Madres” embarked on a crusade to obtain information about their missing children, demanding both the return of their children and punishment for their captors; “The Abuelas” have a sharper focus: to find the living. They call them los desaparecidos con vida (“the living disappeared”), referring to the babies who had been taken from their murdered daughters and sons. Written by Stephanie Alison Walker, and directed by Andi Chapman, it runs October 11 through November 25 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

“Good Fishermen Know a Lot About Sex” To try to heal from a tragic event that occurred in the previous year, a recovering family spring for a therapeutic Hawaiian vacation. For Ally, the trip is an opportunity to foster a more “normal” relationship with her family again. Of course what family is actually ever normal, especially when trapped on a fishing boat together for several hours? On the boat, the family learns about fishing, sex, love, and how to cope with a “new normal” now that one of the members is openly struggling with addiction. Written by Alexa Karas, with music by Konner Scott, it runs October 11 through November 3 at the Guild Stage at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.onstage411.com/newsite/show/play_info.asp?show_id=5051.

“In Trousers” the opening chapter of the “Marvin Trilogy,” follows Marvin’s exploration of his sexuality and identity through his interaction with the three most important women in his life: his high school sweetheart; his teacher; and his wife. Torn between his natural inclination and his desire not to upset his family life as he knows it, Marvin ultimately makes the decision he feels is best for him. Ages 14+. Sexual content. Written by William Finn, and directed by Corey Lynn Howe, it runs October 11 through November 3 at the Lounge Theatre – Front in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.introusersla.brownpapertickets.com.

“Once, The Musical” is about a heartbroken Irish guitarist who has given up on love and music until an immigrant girl inspires him to keep going. Their shared love of music draws the two together and the unexpected friendship quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story. Written by Enda Walsh, with music by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, and directed by Kari Hayter, it runs October 11 through October 27 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets call 562-916-8500 or visit www.3dtheatricals.org.

“Barrymore” In this uncensored comedy, we share an evening with legendary actor John Barrymore, who arrives with the intent of recreating his critically acclaimed performance of Richard III, but would rather amuse his audience with whimsical tales about his life. He recalls the triumphs, the struggles, and the scandals that surrounded his career, his loves, and the Barrymore family. Experience the iconic actor in this no holds barred portrait of early Hollywood’s number one Bad Boy. Not recommended for minors. Written by William Luce, and directed by Robert Benedict, it runs October 12 through November 3 at the Upstairs at the Group Rep in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“Fools the Musical” The musical version of Simon’s play, like the original, is set in Ukraine in 1893. A young tutor arrives in Kulyenchikov following a harrowing journey — only to discover that the village is cursed, rendering every resident as dumb as a bag of rocks. Will Leon fall victim to the curse, or can he save himself and the village too? Just how dumb are the villagers? Let us count the ways: smart-dumb, naïve-dumb, bully-dumb, literal-dumb, professionally dumb, bureaucratically dumb… and just plain old stupid. Written by Neil Simon, with music by Phil Swann and Ron West, additional lyrics by Neil Simon, and directed by Ron West, it runs October 12 through November 17 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.

“The Tragedie of Macbeth – An Immersive Experience” created by a director from England’s Royal Shakespeare Company and a retired Disney Imagineer, this is a fast-paced immersive production that moves from the foggy Scottish Heath and the wind-whistling castle in Invernesss to the witches coven and the doomed Macduff’s house. The audience moves through SCLA’s 22,000 square-foot building encountering floating daggers, tapestries that come to life, and bleeding walls while 9 actors tackle 20 characters. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Kenn Sabberton, it runs October 12 through November 3 at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-481-2273 or visit www.shakespearecenter.org.

“Buried Child” details, with wry humor, the disintegration of the American Dream. When 22-year-old Vince unexpectedly shows up at the family farm with his girlfriend Shelly, no one recognizes him. So begins the unraveling of dark secrets. A surprisingly funny look at disillusionment and morality. Written by Sam Shepard, and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs October 13 through November 23 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“Little Women” of the title are spirited, loving, and artistically or intellectually gifted. Jo writes and gets stories published. Meg, the eldest, is the best actress. Amy draws. Beth has musical talents. Set during the Civil War, this production will focus on the first part of the novel, beginning in 1863 and ending at Christmastime in 1864. Written by Louisa May Alcott, adapted by Christian Lebano, and directed by Christian Lebano, it runs October 17 through November 3 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“Death with Dignity…Comes in A Milkshake” A Therapy session erupts into full-blown mental anarchy, as a “Doctor’s” office is suddenly commandeered, by patients without appointments, insurance, homes, and an ability to survive in the real world. Politics, social issues, and show biz are all topics that are attacked with blasphemy and rapid fire retorts, that somehow is reminiscent of Beckett on steroids. Written by Sam Henry Kass, and directed by Ronnie Marmo, it runs October 18 through November 9 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.Theatre68.com.

 

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” Turn back the hands of time for an intimate evening with legendary jazz songstress Billie Holiday: Lanie Robertson’s play with music treats the audience to one last performance by the iconic singer. In 1959 in a seedy Philadelphia bar, just four months before her death at age 44, “Lady Day” takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of her tumultuous life, interspersed with stunning renditions of her beloved repertoire. Written by Lanie Robertson, and directed by Wren T. Brown, it runs October 18 through November 3 at the International City Theatre in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

“The Music Man” Con man Harold Hill promises a boys’ band to counteract the possibility of a pool table coming to River City. His persuasive patter fools everyone except the town librarian, Marian Paroo. Meredith Willson’s score includes the timeless, “Goodnight, My Someone,” “Seventy-Six Trombones,” and “Till There Was You.” Written by Meredith Willson, with music by Meredith Willson, and directed by Larry Raben, it runs October 18 through October 27 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 805-497-8613 Ext. 6 or visit www.5startheatricals.com.

“Between Riverside and Crazy” Former beat cop and recent widower Walter “Pops” Washington has made a home for his newly paroled son, Junior, in his sprawling, rent-controlled New York City apartment on Riverside Drive. But now the NYPD is demanding his signature to close an outstanding lawsuit, the landlord wants him out, the liquor store is closed, and the church is on his back — leaving Pops somewhere between Riverside… and crazy. Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, and directed by Guillermo Cienfuegos, it runs October 19 through December 15 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

“I Never Saw Another Butterfly” Over 15,000 Jewish children passed through Terezin, and only about a hundred were still alive when Terezin was liberated at the end of the war. One of the survivors, Raja, having lived through it all, teaching the children when there was nothing to teach with, helping to give them hope when there was little enough reason for hope, creating a little world of laughter, of flowers and butterflies behind the barbed wire, tells the true story of the children. It’s her play and it’s theirs. There were no butterflies at Terezin, of course, but for the children, butterflies became a symbol of defiance, making it possible for them to live on and play happily while waiting to be transported. Written by Celeste Raspanti, and directed by Donna Inglima, it runs October 19 through October 27 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers” A sci-fi “Latino noir” satire, inspired by interviews with immigrants who crossed the border to escape economic despair and war, that spotlights anti-immigrant hysteria. In a visually dynamic, profoundly moving and provocatively funny tour de force, New Orleans-based performance artist José Torres-Tama confronts the immigration issue head-on with a genre-bending multimedia performance incorporating film projections, personal stories and poetic texts, humanizing people in search of a dream, and putting a heart and face on today’s immigrant. Written and directed by José Torres-Tama, it runs October 24 through November 3 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

“The Double V” is about activism, a dramatization of true events. How a simple letter to a newspaper initiated a series of changes that gave black Americans their first taste of equality in a society that had always denigrated them. The Double V campaign, early in the years of World War II, campaigned for both Victory in the war and Victory in the battles for racial equality in the United States. Written by Carole Eglash-Kosoff’s, and directed by Michael Arabian, it runs October 25 through November 24 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7776.

“Matilda the Musical” the story of an extraordinary girl who – armed with a vivid imagination, a sharp mind and a love for books – dares to take a stand against the tyranny of adults who seek to crush her imagination. Watch how she and her classmates save the day! Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs and featuring a gifted young actress, it’s a joyous girl-power romp! Written by Dennis Kelly, with music by Tim Minchin, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs October 25 through November 17 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

“The Art of Dining” The play takes place in the late 70s in upscale New Jersey at the shore. Ellen and Cal have opened a restaurant, The Golden Carrousel, and after four weeks, the place is taking off with the dinner crowd. Ellen is the passionate gourmet chef, and Cal is the passionate Maitre’D, host, waiter and bartender. They have been married for eight years and this restaurant is their baby. Tonight, we join them and their very eccentric guests as Cal worries about paying off their $75,000 business loan, impressing the diners for future reservations, and Ellen lovingly and sensually creates gourmet meals. Tonight’s guests are the married people who are gourmands and cannot control any of their appetites; the women who show up to eat and diet at the same time; the shy, neurotic, romantic female writer hoping for everything who is meeting the charming, debonair publisher who has an appetite for life. Everyone craves and eats and laughs, and the audience will smell the food, join in the laughter, and feel the passion, and eat. Written by Tina Howe, and directed by Gloria Gifford, it runs October 26 through December 8 at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4404222.

“Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” In the story, the irrepressible, rebellious young Huck resists polite society and takes off on a raft with Jim, a runaway slave. On their journey, Huck and Jim encounter wild extremes of greed, bigotry, kindness and love. Twain’s many memorable characters are brought to vivid life – from the Widow Douglas and her stern sister to two uproariously funny con men; from Huck’s partner in crime Tom Sawyer and their rowdy gang of pals to the lovely Mary Jane Wilkes and her trusting family. Written by Mark Twain, with music by Roger Miller, and directed by Kirby Ward, it runs October 26 through November 10 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“The Thanksgiving Play” How does one celebrate Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month at the same time? In this biting satire, this is the question facing three “woke” white thespians tasked with devising an elementary school pageant about the first Thanksgiving while avoiding any culturally appropriative missteps. A roast of the politics of entertainment and well-meaning political correctness alike, it puts the American origin story itself in the comedy-crosshairs. Written by Larissa FastHorse, and directed by Michael John Garcés, it runs October 31 through December 1 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!